Dr. Abigail Boetticher, pediatric neurologist at Noran Neurology Clinic speaks with FOX 9 News about what irregular sleep schedules can mean for a child's behavior and what is happening in a child's brain when they aren't getting the same amount of sleep on a night-to-night basis.
It's pretty clear to parents that when your child doesn't get a good night's sleep, the next day can be a challenge. However, for some kids, it can be a bigger challenge -- one that affects behavior in a very negative way.
A recent study out of Great Britain shows that kids without a regular bedtime tend to have more behavior problems at home and at school. Researchers say this can be seen even in adults, but when it happens with children, the problem is magnified.
Scientists analyzed data on more than 10,000 children. They were part of a long-term study of babies born in the UK in 2000 to 2002 that regularly surveyed parents about sleep and behavioral problems. Children without a regular bedtime tended to score worse on a measure of behavior problems such as acting unhappy, getting into fights and being inconsiderate.
When children went from having a non-regular bedtime to a regular bedtime on the following survey, their behavior scores improved.
Watch the video to hear Dr. Boetticher's analysis.